Because we don't have art in our building, I actually have an easel and paint in the back of my classroom. The kids come in for breakfast, they see me painting.
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In that moment, just sitting there enjoying that with them, I noticed that I was not doing those things as much in my last couple years of teaching. Because I was so exhausted. And those special moments that made me have this great connection with my students, those special moments that made me love my job, were not as frequent.
We had a discussion in class one day where we talked about code switching — where we talked about the power of language and the language of power. We talked about how the purpose for communication is to be understood, and if you're doing that, you're doing just fine.
I know as a parent that I know my kids really well. I know what their strengths are, I know what their weaknesses are, and I have the idea of what I want my kids to have as a part of my family. As a teacher, I know that teachers bring a very different perspective.
I just love that she had that moment of feeling like a kid, and not feeling like she's carrying anything... And hopefully she remembers that forever, 'cause I will.
If our boys are in trouble, our society is in trouble. It's hard to be what you can't see.
When you remove your children from this arena, you are not only stopping them from hearing other points of view, but you are stopping others from hearing your child's point of view.
I've been told, “this student can't read” or “they're a non-reader.” But in my class, in my play, they've learned their lines. So I believe strongly: the arts enhance every part of education.
She told me that every single day, me making that effort to go talk to her was what kept her from harming herself. I just think about that kid. What if I hadn't — what if I was so concerned with the content that I did not make the extra effort to make sure that she was okay?
Students have so many things that they have to do, both academically and non-academically, and I think it gets very easy for adults, whether they work in classrooms or not, to not have empathy for what students are going through developmentally, emotionally, academically.